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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

A New Supply of Services for the Real Estate Industry: Reinventing Supply Chain Management

Written by Lewis Fein Posted On Thursday, 03 May 2018 11:55

The real estate industry has its own supply chain of vendors, contractors, developers, builders, and investors. Indeed, individual agents and brokers - both commercial and residential - are part of this process: They are one of several professionals in a chain that can be simpler yet stronger, faster yet more facilitative, and accessible yet more accountable. This shift ensures total transparency, where it is easy to track the exchange of goods and services, and even easier to authenticate and audit contracts.

I refer, specifically, to a solution like SupplyBloc. A blockchain-based means of lowering costs without compromising standards, this platform benefits the real estate industry as a whole. Take, for example, something as simple (in theory) as hiring movers to box and transport personal belongings, or to deliver and unpack furniture for a newly purchased home.

In this scenario, a real estate agent's reputation can suffer serious harm if his recommendation goes awry; if his client expresses her frustration - if a family articulates their anger - without distinguishing between an agent who is responsive and a mover who is not; if the absence of clarity causes people to draw erroneous, and egregious (to the agent), conclusions about someone who is in fact a model of exemplary behavior. The fallout can take months or years to undo, regarding negative reviews, a drop in referrals, and the end of word-of-mouth marketing.

Compare that situation to one where uncertainty is a thing of the past, thanks to an immutable ledger that records every transaction and lets users do their own virtual inspections. Compare that situation to a system that disciplines the otherwise disorganized, while it shows how - and why - it pays to be prepared. Compare that situation to a network that is more efficient and less expensive than the status quo.

This situation alone illustrates the importance of supply chain management to the real estate industry. If we think of how the weakest link in this chain of events can weaken the chain in its entirety, if we think of the things that make it difficult, if not impossible, to identify this weakness beforehand, if we think of how this weakness rewards the bad and is indifferent to the good, then we should not have second thoughts about the need to adopt a better alternative.

Blockchain technology is the answer we need, because it is the only answer that speaks to our needs as buyers and sellers of real estate. It reveals the existence of a supply chain, which may lengthen or narrow as circumstances permit, but is never longer than necessary. It also offers users the convenience they want and the reliability they demand.

With an infrastructure of this caliber, complemented by the oversight every user expects and any business leader would encourage us to receive, we can help real estate agents worldwide. The subsequent uptick in sales would be too substantial to deny or dismiss.

We owe it to ourselves to supply the real estate industry with a superior form of supply chain management.

Lewis Fein: A writer and branding consultant, Lewis Fein covers the real estate industry, technology, and marketing, among other issues. A graduate of The Emory University School of Law, Lewis resides in Southern California. You may reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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